Please list five areas where you would cut spending.

Budget

1. Medicaid- need annual Audits until corrected.
2. Reduce layers of redundant layers of government.
3. Implement Second Chance laws to reduce spending.
4. Eliminate IL General fund education subsidies that are not based on district need.
5. Examine the bloat at all levels of government.

Medicaid is the fastest growing part of the Illinois budget and consumes roughly one third. Cutting the waste and fraud is a must. Pension reforms as well as reducing the size of local governments and townships will save the state billions of dollars. Additionally, Illinois has over 850 school districts littered with redundancies that consumes taxpayer money unnecessarily. At the state government level, I would support eliminating the Office of Lieutenant Governor and consolidating the State Comptroller and Treasurer.

1. Pension reform that protects current benefits but makes changes for future hires.
2. Consolidation of state government offices and agencies.
3. Procurement reform.
4. Changes to public assistance programs, such as waste and fraud associated with Medicaid or unemployment insurance.
5. Reform to higher education bureaucracies.

I reject the idea that merely cutting spending will turn Illinois around. We need to have major reforms which include a real balanced budget to improve our state moving forward. Here is my plan:

1. Keep families and businesses in Illinois by passing a 1% cap on property taxes as a percentage of home value.
2. Reform the current job killing worker's compensation system laws.
3. Encourage job growth by ending prevailing wage laws.
4. Improve Medicare spending practices to help the truly vulnerable in our state.
5. Create an affordable retirement plan for new state workers that allow the taxpayer the opportunity to know current and future liabilities.

1. Eliminate subsidies used to support the building or rental of stadiums or other facilities for privately owned sports teams
2. Reduction of overly generous executive compensation in higher education
3. Replacement of the state board of education with an elected board composed of persons who would be willing to serve in that position without pay.
4. Gradually reduce end-of-career salary spikesikes of state employees by 1% per year per contract period. The gradual nature of this reduction is required to reduce pain associated with previous promises that these hikes would be paid.
5. Allow individual state employees to voluntarily shift pension donations into self-managed plans. If there is enough saved from the state's contribution level through this, the state may offer matches to encourage employee savings.

I think we could save some money by consolidating some of our forms of local government. Administrative bloat in state institutions (such as state agencies and universities) should be cut. Some of this bloat is due to increased accountability requirements mandated by Springfield. We should reexamine how much we really need in that regard. Other admin bloat is due to the hiring being controlled by administrators who see a need for more help, often at the expense of those who actually carry out the mission of the institution.

There are undoubtedly a number of places where spending could be reduced without sacrificing necessary services. A thorough review of state expenditures and operations should be conducted in a fair, scientific and nonpartisan manner by experienced professionals. Reducing spending by refinancing the state's debt at current lower rates must continue and increase. The state has more of revenue than a spending problem. The state's budget shouldn't be held up so that vital services suffer. Investing in education, public safety and social services must not be diminished. Substance abuse and drug addiction must be addressed with treatment, not incarceration. Not only does this make public health sense, it is more cost-effective and humane... The cost of incarcerating a person greatly exceeds the cost of educating them.

The present Governor has focused on state employees and state employee unions as a means to reduce the cost of government. However, cutting spending by focusing on state employees and their union is counterproductive and not cost-effective. Illinois already has a relatively lean government and low per capita public employee numbers as compared with other states due to previous cuts. The state has reduced its workforce substantially over the past decades and despite the current administration's claims, they are not the country's highest paid workers. Illinois is a relatively high wage state. A state university study ranked it 10th in private sector wages and 9th in state employee pay. State workers in Illinois make less that other Midwestern states, such as Iowa and Minnesota and earn less in total compensation than average California and New York state employees.

As regards their health care costs, Illinois is in line with other states in premium contributions and health plan value. A national study revealed that average premium contributions by state employers are 84%, whereas in Illinois, it is 83%. Governor Rauner has proposed that state of Illinois employees pay 40% of their health care costs, which would move Illinois from about the middle to the fifth worst health plan benefits nationally.

The Rauner administration has proposed reducing public pensions, but the Illinois Constitution includes a strong prohibition against the diminishment of benefits that are granted to a pensioner. Newly-hired Illinois workers already are offered alternatives to the traditional pensions that once existed. Illinois has a debt service and tax policy problem that must be addressed and its budgets must not be balanced so as to adversely affect our schools, public safety, vulnerable populations, public employees or social services and other critical functions of government. Cutting spending on core state services to make pension debt payments would have to be drastic and is unrealistic. A repayment schedule that makes healthy, legally enforced contributions to the pensions must be restructured so that it is affordable and allows the state to maintain critical government services. The state must fund its obligations and must be assessed favorably by bond rating agencies as having made real progress toward solving its fiscal problems and adequately funding critical government services into the future.

It is not fair for me to list things to cut when I do not know the FULL gravity of each item since I'm not a State Rep with the itemized budget at my disposal, along with details for each. But if we are able to consolidate services - that will save money. If we are able to let go of certain fees that other States do not burden their residents with, then let's do that. Being a resident of Northern Illinois, I know that it is easier to start a business, for example, in Wisconsin because they do not have the same fees and lengthy process as Illinois. IT IS TIME FOR ILLINOIS TO BECOME A "BEST PRACTICE" STATE. I desire for other States to model after what we do, not the other way around.

It is not fair for me to list things to cut when I do not know the FULL gravity of each item since I'm not a State Rep with the itemized budget at my disposal, along with details for each. But if we are able to consolidate services - that will save money. If we are able to let go of certain fees that other States do not burden their residents with, then let's do that. Being a resident of Northern Illinois, I know that it is easier to start a business, for example, in Wisconsin because they do not have the same fees and lengthy process as Illinois. IT IS TIME FOR ILLINOIS TO BECOME A "BEST PRACTICE" STATE. I desire for other States to model after what we do, not the other way around.

Public paying for abortions. Cable television in prisons. SNAP abuse. Consolidate Treasurer and Comptroller offices State assistance for electric car charging stations

Some places to cut the so-called "low hanging fruit" in the budget would include:

Elimination of the Lt. Governor's office
Merge the State Treasurer and Comptroller into one office
Merge the Illinois Community College Board, State Board of Higher Education, and Illinois State Board of Education in a way most states already do.
Eliminate the Legislative Printing Unit, which prints legislative promotional materials at taxpayer expense
The State Employee Health Insurance Group plan costs grew by 25% in 2017 and another 5% in 2018, and now costs taxpayers over $3.4 billion per year. The state has a large enough insurance pool (with over 50,000 state employees) that we can negotiate much lower rates from insurance providers.

Spending in Illinois needs to be structurally limited so politicians are not at liberty to spend more. That is why I would support legislation that would cap spending growth to the rate of inflation plus population growth. We continue to spend more and more despite significant population loss.

Second, we need to reform our state pension system. We need to move from the defined benefit system we have now to a defined contribution system. New state workers should be offered a 401(k) type retirement vehicle, current workers should be the given the option of switching to a 401 (k) model, which many would do if they were told the truth about the long term sustainability of their benefits, and we must reform the automatic and unsustainable cost of living increases currently received by state workers. We must implement in Illinois what was done in the federal government in the 1980's only better; now that we have thirty years of history to assess.

Third, Medicaid reform as discussed above, including means testing for eligibility so only those who truly need the program are allowed to benefit, leveraging purchasing power and economies of scale for lower drug and equipment costs, and seriously (for once) addressing the fraud and abuse in the system. As the "Broken Windows Theory" proved, "Bad behavior, if left unchecked will spread." We need to fix the fraud and abuse now!

Fourth, we need to decrease the number of governmental units, each which has its own cost drivers including bureaucracy and salary structure. As mayor of a village, I understand well how---without leadership and oversight---small units of government (not unlike large ones) can be abused by those who are reliant of those units of government for pay and other consequential benefits. It's too easy for large organizations to run inefficiently. I happen to be in the efficiency business for sales and recruiting organizations and have not only seen that firsthand, I can use my expertise to help state government measure and monitor results.

Fifth, although I value so much of the work done by public employees, including and especially those who work in Burr Ridge, we need to reign in salaries at the state level like our village has done over the last decade. Also, we need to use "fairness and prudence" as our mantra as we get public sector employees' income and pensions more in line with those in the private sector.

First, I would propose an across-the-board cut to every agency and department. I do not propose this because it is the simplest option, but because I believe that all budgets have budget lines that no longer produce cost-effective results, may not be relevant or they may have excess money. The Illinois Budget is no different.

To be specific, I would look into spending on:

Higher Education
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
Secretary of State
State Comptroller

The budget crisis in Illinois is complicated. There is no easy fix to the problems. Having said that, though, we cannot just throw up our hands and act as if nothing can be done. We have to make do with less if we are going to get beyond the current budget crisis. Areas we need to make cuts:

Decrease the money allotted to office leases and implement reforms in how state office lease agreements are made;
Reduce administrative costs at public schools;
Reduce Medicaid fraud and implement higher means tested co-pays for Medicaid beneficiaries;
Consolidate the office of the Treasurer and Comptroller and eliminate the Lt. Gov. position entirely;
Give voters greater options to reduce, consolidate or eliminate local governments as a means of reducing government costs.

Workers compensation costs. Medicaid claims need to be tightened. There may be exemptions that need to be adjusted as well ie. retirement income, or lowering the standard deduction.

1. Eliminate programs that only benefit illegal immigrants and/or one portion of the state.
2. Refine the managed care program in Illinois.
3. Remodel the procurement process in Illinois.
4. Move all agencies and their respective administrations back to Springfield, eliminate unnecessary satellite offices, and dispose of unused/excess property.
5. Modernize our state's way of doing business and use technology to our advantage.

Pension reform can save the state billions over the long term.
Additional procurement reform will save considerable money.
Continued improvements to managing the Medicaid program, including redetermination efforts and cracking down on fraud are critical.
Eliminate costly mandates imposed on local government by the state.
Consolidate the duplicative layers of government regarding higher education by merging the Board of Higher Education, Community College Board and Student Assistance Commission.

I would start with an across the board cut of 3-5 %. I would then initiate a move to zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting requires every agency in government to justify all of its spending rather than assume that the previous year's budget is a starting point. There is also much room for consolidation such as merging the Comptroller and Treasurers offices and eliminating the office of Lt. Governor. The state should also undertake a massive review of waste, fraud, and abuse of Medicaid in Illinois. Finally, we need to have a longer term budgeting plan that recognizes the need to sustain the cuts over at least a five year period of time so that businesses have some confidence in their decisions to stay here or locate here.

Pension reform that reduces our state's long-term pension liability.
Further adjustments to our state's Medicaid system.
Limiting abuses of unemployment insurance and other to public assistance programs.
Consolidation of government offices and boards, such as Treasurer and Comptroller or higher education boards.
Reform of our procurement system and Central Management Services.

Structural: Shrink the bloated state payroll and eliminate waste starting at the top. Medicaid: We must solve the unsustainable and ever increasing expenses tied to this program. Social Projects: We need to take an indepth look into programs that are not getting the desired results and consider ending them. Eliminate unnecessary boards and other consulting-type paid positions. Move all new state employees to a defined contribution plan.

I would cut school spending by investing in early childhood programs. These investments lead to savings in K-12.
I support prison reform. I would support legislation to shorten prison sentences for nonviolent offenders. I would be in favor of community-based programs for young nonviolent offenders instead of prison. According to Voices for Illinois Children, such programs cost 1/29 the amount Illinois spends on incarceration. I would cut spending related to wasteful incarceration.
Medical liability reform would save money for Illinois. I would support legislation that requires medical facilities to report mistakes that lead to injuries. This would save money currently wasted by insurance companies, doctors, patients, and families. It would also lead to greater safety and diminished errors. (Current policy forces patients to sue in order to determine whether an error has occurred.) The lack of information sharing prevents doctors from learning about best practices from each other and about what preventable mistakes have been made.
Illinois should continue to consolidate governmental units that are redundant. In walking door to door, many residents of my district had specific examples of fiscal irresponsibility that they shared. Legislators do not have to comb through records to find waste. We need to listen to the people of Illinois who can and do report what they witness.
I would eliminate spending on government contracts with Securus and other companies like it. We should not be spending money on services that cause more harm than good to both the prison population and Illinois families. There must many contracts like this that soak the Illinois taxpayer without providing any meaningful benefit.

The Illinois general assembly should roll new state employees into defined-contribution plans and support a constitutional amendment that will allow the State to renegotiate some of its contracts with pensioners. These reforms will put our pension system on a path toward solvency and save Illinois taxpayers millions of dollars.
When looking for solutions, it is important to prioritize potential waste, fraud, and abuse in the system. To begin, I support an audit of state spending across the board, in order to assure state spending is actually going towards helping the people they are designed to help. This includes utilizing the Medicaid audit, which has been effective at finding abuse in the system, to assure that money going towards Medicaid actually goes toward helping those in need. Additionally, by auditing welfare programs and requiring photo identification for LINK cards, abuse can be combatted.
An across the board, 10% cut to the budget of each statewide agency unless the agency provides a compelling reason to maintain current levels of funding. It's the general assembly's responsibility to weigh the strength of these arguments in light of Illinois' budget shortfalls.
Combine the comptroller's office into the treasurer's office and look to streamline the administrative bureaucracy in every office and department in the State.
Eliminate pensions for all elected officials in Illinois. While Springfield politicians continue to ask Illinois' taxpayers to make sacrifices, they remain noticeably silent on what they can be doing to help the state get through this crisis. Elected office should be about service, not about building a career. That's why If I am given the opportunity to represent Illinois' 59th district in the general assembly, I will look to lead on this issue and not take a legislative pension.

There are lot more than 5 areas where I would cut spending. However, I would start by focusing on Illinois' complex and redundant procurement processes and revitalize all agency's means of doing business more efficiently and effectively for our hardworking taxpayers.

I would cut spending in the following areas.

I would support a repeal of HB 40 and end taxpayer-funded abortions on demand.
I would also push to repeal the Trust Act and take away funding for us becoming a sanctuary state.
I would look to end pension pickups and support legislation that would ensure teachers were paying their own share of the cost of their pension.
I would support legislation that would stop state subsidies that fuel excess spending at the local level.
I would look to eliminate unnecessary administrators in the bloated higher education system.

Eliminating redundant costs such, as 911 and dispatch services that are paid for by several taxing sources.
Eliminating many of the township governments in Illinois.
More accountability in public aid to ensure recipients are actually entitled to the benefits they are receiving.
Reduce and eliminate administrative positions at schools.
Review the number of local school districts and develop a plan to reduce the number of districts where applicable.

I alone cannot cut any spending but I can work with my fellow legislators to, in general, cut spending that is frivolous, spending that does not give the return desired, spending that is not efficient, and spending that is wasteful. Specifically, I would like to work to cut spending as follows:

Interest payments on debt obligations: Illinois taxpayers' dollars should be used to pay off private investors as little as possible. Of course, the only way to achieve this is to minimize the principal and improve Illinois' creditworthiness.

Prison costs for crimes that should be decriminalized,

Redundant or duplicative government functions: we should be able to rely on our counties and municipalities to aid in certain governmental and regulatory functions without duplication effort unnecessarily. Further, I would like to encourage every department in which funding appropriations are made to cut spending and save taxpayer money by encouraging these entities to cut costs on their own and to be allowed to direct saved money to Illinois' deficit and other areas of government if necessary.

Fringe benefit cost appropriations: we need to identify providers and administrators that will continue to provide Illinois workers with the same (or better) benefits while lowering administrative costs and overhead.

Cut wasteful pension management expenses: we should not allow public pension money to be managed by outside entities that charging exorbitant management and advisory fees and invest the funds in high-risk, high-expense positions. Take the Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois as an example: after 2016, it maintained about $46 billion with long-term unfunded liability of about $71 billion. Rather than invest that money in stable, cost-efficient investments, the fund had 34% of its assets in high risk, high cost alternative investments. They did not perform well. Notwithstanding the underperformance of the investments, the fund incurred nearly $750 million in investment expenses.

Rather than labeling as spending cuts, I would rather suggest these are needed Government efficiencies:

I support the Rauner Administrations efforts to convert the Medicaid Program to managed care. They have estimated that savings could be attained of $500 million to $1 billon. In addition, we need to more frequently check eligibility. The Civic Federation has estimated savings in the range of $135 million.

As we will discuss in subsequent questions, we need to address pension underfunding and the greater share of revenue that will be needed to address this unfunded liability. We need a Constitutional Amendment that would allow a bipartisan solution as was previously passed and found unconstitutional. Future we must offer a non-defined benefit plan. (see answer xx)

Full budgetary review of University structure and Administrative spending. As the SIU Carbondale Chancellor has point out, Administrative positions have increased by 26% while enrollment has declined. For example, The University of Illinois System under Kennedy's Leadership increased its budget to over $60 million per year for Central Administration. These functions mirror those of each campus. Why the need for such excessive duplication?

Consolidate and streamline units of Government — According to the Civic Federation, Illinois has the highest number of local government units in any state., over 6,963. All seek staff and spending authority and many duplicate efforts inefficiently. The high number of government units primarily funded by Property taxes is often cited for high property taxes and hurt the business climate. Nearly 25% of Illinois School Districts have only one or two schools, while 1/3 have fewer than 600 students. While P.A. 100-0107 is a step in the right direction allowing a way for municipalities to integrate government units, we need to do more.

Reduce interest paid on overdue State bills. Currently we pay 1% per month. Profiteering is occurring at taxpayer expense. We should change the interest rate to .4 to .5% per month to more accurately reflect the risk reward lending matrix. This could save over $200 million per year and stop the need of selling bonds to finance.

I do not believe that the appropriate approach is "where should we cut." The question should be how can we best provide the services that, we as a state (and legislature), have decided are important to provide. With that said, I do believe that we have opportunities to run a more efficient government. We can and should start with (1) rebalancing our long-term care system - we are over reliant on nursing home and institutional care when we could be providing similar services at much less expense in home and community based settings. We also should be: (2) investing in programs like supportive housing in order to prevent homelessness and more costly services that follow; (3) reducing our prison population through smart and effective criminal justice reforms; (4) getting rid of tax credits for corporations that ship jobs oversees; and (5) providing more community based mental health services so that we can avoid institutionalization and imprisonment.

Illinois has had several years of cuts to human services, higher education, and Medicaid. The last couple of years without a budget have had a devastating impact on our social safety nets under the Rauner administration. We need to be very careful and strategic with any additional cuts. We have seen that some short-sighted cuts have ended up costing more down the road; for example, cutting after school programs and crime prevention programs have resulted in a spike in crimes with resulting human and economic costs. In general, I support thoughtful cuts whose short and long-term impact is well-studied. To the extent that there are inefficient departments or duplicative or wasteful services within governmental agencies, I would support cutting them.

I support consolidation of local units of government that are often duplicative and inefficient.

Opportunity scholarships for private schooling should be cut.

I would support merging the Treasurer's and the Comptroller's offices if after careful study the merger saves taxpayers money and doesn't compromise transparency and ethical operation of the new entity.

I would support reviewing how our public safety dollars are being spent in our prison system to see how those monies could be gradually shifted from expensive incarcerations to crime prevention and community improvements to prevent crime and generate savings.

I would consider supporting spending cuts that didn't hurt the most vulnerable people in our state: children, the elderly, those who are disabled, and the poor.

At this point its impossible to determine what should be cut or can be cut. I would support performance audits of programs and departments throughout the state by the Auditor General so we can determine proper funding levels for all programs.

Reduce the prison population and initiate reforms in the criminal justice system; Reduce the number of local governments within the state; Evaluate all outsourcing services to assess whether they actually produce savings; anything that can be done more cost-effectively in-house should be brought back in; Conduct a value stream analysis' in partnership with unions and employees to reduce non-value-added steps and streamline processes; Eliminate unproductive incentives used in our attempts to attract and retain businesses.

There are a few areas where I believe we can cut spending in order to help balance our budget. One possible area would be to cut government administration posts at the top levels. There is a lot of waste and duplication in government personnel and I think there is room for cuts and consolidation. Especially among those making big salaries. Cutting waste will have a positive impact on our budget and help restore people's faith in how state government is structured.

This is more difficult than some believe, because unfortunately there is no line item in the budget that just says "corruption", "insider deals", or "waste"! With that said there are many areas where we need to make changes that would help to reduce costs:

Consolidate governmental units: IL has far and away more governments than any other state, with over 6.000 separate governmental entities, all of which get to levy taxes. The governments are often overlapping geographically and can be duplicative in services provided. In many areas our real estate tax bills reflect taxing from more than ten separate entities. It is obviously inefficient and expensive. There has been movement in this area in recent years in the face of much lobbying against it from local government trade groups, but it has to be accelerated. Two obvious places are the elimination of the archaic township governments, and consolidating elementary school districts and high school districts.
Health Care: Moving to a managed care system for Medicaid services. Much money can be saved by diverting people to a primary physician so that expensive emergency rooms won't be the unnecessary entry point for care for so many. The managed care providers can bid flat rates for all the people they serve, as opposed to billing on a fee per service basis. They will then have incentive to encourage wellness practices as well. Projects like Community Care need to be expanded to keep the elderly out of nursing homes until they are needed.
Legalize Marijuana and Crime Reform: Beyond the obvious revenue benefits of taxing pot, the savings from not prosecuting the crime would be substantial. We can also save a lot of resources by moving people from the expensive jail system into diversion programs. I am a big fan of Sheriff Dart's viewpoint that many people are being incarcerated simply because we don't have the mental health facilities for them. Providing services for these people would be humane as well as cheaper. I would also favor a system to grant very early parole for people currently incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes if they are found not to be a danger.
Outsource Real Estate Management: Experienced third party management companies should be hired to make better use of our real estate, including the possible rental or sale of parts not being used, and to manage the maintenance of the buildings.
Addressing Bills Promptly: The interest we had to pay due to the non-payment of bills during the budget standoff was shocking, around two million dollars a day. We could also save a lot of money in the future by being more aggressive in addressing infrastructure problems now. When our highways are not properly repaired it makes the future repairs many times more expensive.

Again, I have not studied the budget at this point. I don't feel as if I could give the people an intelligent answer. But before I would tell someone the 5 areas where I would cut the budget, I would speak to my bosses. The voters of the 57th district of the great state of Illinois.

The number one thing we need to do is a debt affordability study. We have two choices: 1) Trim our current budget, or go broke. The debt affordability study will help us identify areas, potentially things like reforming healthcare for state employee's, reforming pensions (moving forward) for state employees, consolidating school administration and physical structures, consolidating municipalities, and ditching political pensions.

1. End legislative pensions. Illinois government was constituted with a part-time legislature, however this designation means little given that legislators earn more than the Illinois median household income and continue earning during their retirement. The pension system is in dire need of reform and legislators can show leadership on the necessity of shared sacrifice by rejecting benefits that by any measure should not be accrued through part-time work. 2. Finalize negotiations between state workers and government that bring the contract in line with existing budget realities, and also with contracts in the private sector. The past years have seen the Governor mired in seemingly intractable negotiations with AFSCME. Each side has accused the other of negotiating in bad faith, however it is imperative that these differences be resolved. State workers, through AFSCME, must be partners in restoring fiscal sanity to the state. 3. Reduce administrative cost. This issue is multi-fold. First, Illinois suffers from an unwieldy procurement system that delays implementation IT upgrades and forestalls projects, raising administrative costs. This system needs reform. Additionally, many administrative functions of the state (particularly those handled in-house by DOIT) could potentially be outsourced off of state time at lower cost and greater efficiency. The state is plagued by deferred maintenance costs on its capital investments (the state fairgrounds, for example, is crumbling) leading to huge, and avoidable, losses to taxpayers. The GA should also give stricter guidance in regard to how agencies craft their budgets. The introduction of zero-based budgeting (ZBB) on a semi-annual basis into state agency budget requests would more aggressively confront waste and inefficiency stemming from past appropriations. Agency budgets continue to be predicated upon maintaining, or expanding, the total appropriation that they receive from year to year. A more aggressive accounting policy would facilitate a comprehensive overview, dollar-for-dollar, of what each government agency spends. 4. Local government consolidation and reform. Consolidate school districts to serve more students and cut administrative costs. Other states, such as Indiana, largely have countywide school districts. Remove requirements that require local governments to adhere to prevailing wage and allow local markets to set wages. Municipalities must spend more than necessary to complete projects and therefore rely more heavily on state funding. Illinois has the most units of local government of any state and the duplicative layers of government increase costs. As numerous investigations have revealed, this status quo also facilitates the spread of graft and lack of accountability. Most voters don't know who many of their elected officials even are, through no fault of their own, and that is no way to run a democracy. The GA has a strong role to play in guiding these changes and should seize the opportunity to lead.

The number one thing we need to do is a debt affordability study. We have two choices: 1) Trim our current budget, or go broke. The debt affordability study will help us identify areas, potentially things like reforming healthcare for state employee's, reforming pensions (moving forward) for state employees, consolidating school administration and physical structures, consolidating municipalities, and ditching political pensions.

1. End legislative pensions. Illinois government was constituted with a part-time legislature, however this designation means little given that legislators earn more than the Illinois median household income and continue earning during their retirement. The pension system is in dire need of reform and legislators can show leadership on the necessity of shared sacrifice by rejecting benefits that by any measure should not be accrued through part-time work. 2. Finalize negotiations between state workers and government that bring the contract in line with existing budget realities, and also with contracts in the private sector. The past years have seen the Governor mired in seemingly intractable negotiations with AFSCME. Each side has accused the other of negotiating in bad faith, however it is imperative that these differences be resolved. State workers, through AFSCME, must be partners in restoring fiscal sanity to the state. 3. Reduce administrative cost. This issue is multi-fold. First, Illinois suffers from an unwieldy procurement system that delays implementation IT upgrades and forestalls projects, raising administrative costs. This system needs reform. Additionally, many administrative functions of the state (particularly those handled in-house by DOIT) could potentially be outsourced off of state time at lower cost and greater efficiency. The state is plagued by deferred maintenance costs on its capital investments (the state fairgrounds, for example, is crumbling) leading to huge, and avoidable, losses to taxpayers. The GA should also give stricter guidance in regard to how agencies craft their budgets. The introduction of zero-based budgeting (ZBB) on a semi-annual basis into state agency budget requests would more aggressively confront waste and inefficiency stemming from past appropriations. Agency budgets continue to be predicated upon maintaining, or expanding, the total appropriation that they receive from year to year. A more aggressive accounting policy would facilitate a comprehensive overview, dollar-for-dollar, of what each government agency spends. 4. Local government consolidation and reform. Consolidate school districts to serve more students and cut administrative costs. Other states, such as Indiana, largely have countywide school districts. Remove requirements that require local governments to adhere to prevailing wage and allow local markets to set wages. Municipalities must spend more than necessary to complete projects and therefore rely more heavily on state funding. Illinois has the most units of local government of any state and the duplicative layers of government increase costs. As numerous investigations have revealed, this status quo also facilitates the spread of graft and lack of accountability. Most voters don't know who many of their elected officials even are, through no fault of their own, and that is no way to run a democracy. The GA has a strong role to play in guiding these changes and should seize the opportunity to lead.

The answer to Illinois' fiscal woes are not as simple as a reduction of services, as some have proposed. While there may be programs needing evaluated and/or cut, there is significant savings in cutting expenses, and thereby decreasing the overall cost of government. I believe the difference is significant, because excessive cuts can lead to further expense and catastrophic consequences. There are, however, expenditures that can be cut in order to lower the cost of state government overall, just as a business must tighten its belt in lean years. Areas for cut/reform:

1. Cut duplicative services and agencies
2. Consolidate local Public Aid offices
3. Increase Medicaid copays/coinsurance
4. Decrease costs associated with state office leases. Terminate or consolidate where necessary to lower cost structures.
5. Raise the age of pension eligibility annually for new hires, to an actuarially-determined level, that mimics social security ages.
6. Eliminate prevailing wage on many government construction projects.
7. Set online fees lower than in person fees. For example, to pay many state fees online there is an added charge (i.e. license plate renewal stickers, corporate annual reports, etc.) I believe cuts can be made as a responsible business would make: planned and incremental and consistent, in conjunction with designs for a percentage increase in productivity and value for the business of government.

I don't think the premise of this question is attuned to the reality of Illinois. Yes, there's a million here and a million there that is needlessly spent, but Illinois ranks 37th in per capita spending according to the 2015 data from the Kaiser Foundation. The notion that we have some out of control spending problem is false. That said, we have to make reasonable changes to our pension system that the pensioners support. We cannot go back on promises made without consent.

At this point its impossible to determine what should be cut or can be cut. I would support performance audits of programs and departments throughout the state by the Auditor General so we can determine proper funding levels for all programs.

We cannot cut our way to a balanced budget. However, there are things we can do to cut costs:

Bulk purchasing of drugs for Medicaid patients to reduce pharmaceutical costs under Medicaid
Tightening up the rules for tax credits to make sure that companies getting those credits are actually creating jobs that stay in Illinois
Cutting expenditures for film promotion. Both the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities have criticized the use of film production tax credits as a waste of money.
State funding for county and state fairs
Eliminate the tax expenditure for private school scholarships

Illinois' spending is an investment into our future. There are essential functions that state government must address and adequately fund. When the state invests wisely, conditions improve, and spending is often reduced. Adequate investments into public education, job development, and social services reduce the costs of the prison system, substance abuse treatment, and other services. It is irresponsible to say that a specific program or initiative should be cut without proper evaluation, hearings, and due diligence done through the annual budgeting process. This conversation should not be framed in terms of cuts but rather about allocation of resources to our priorities and investments that will yield the most positive return for Illinois residents. The following are areas in which Illinois can better allocate resources:

Privatization of services: Illinois has privatized many public services without evaluating whether these changes will be more cost effective or if the quality of services will suffer. The recently-enacted scholarship funds for private schools passed without real conversations about whether this use of public resources is appropriate. The governor recently privatized Illinois Managed Care, claiming to save money while analysts estimate the program could cost up to $4.5 billion more annually. When we privatize state services we eliminate important oversight that informs our decision making. Illinois lawmakers should be more critical in any privatization of state services and evaluate whether changes will be cost effective without hurting the quality of services.
Adequate revenues to eliminate unnecessary borrowing: Illinois lawmakers must stabilize revenues to reduce the state's borrowing costs. Illinois will never get out of this pattern of borrowing our way out of budget crisis without adequate revenues. By increasing the level and stability of state revenues, we will improve our bond rating which will allow us to refinance debt at lower interest rates and to borrow at lower rates if it is ever needed.
Ending unnecessary corporate tax breaks: Illinois grants hundreds of millions in corporate tax breaks every year with little to no scrutiny on whether these tax breaks produce a return on investment on economic development. I support ending many corporate tax breaks and investing those resources towards critical state needs like education.
Disinvest in prisons and investing in community public safety: Research suggests that incarceration and detention are poor public safety investments, but we continue to spend hundreds of millions in prisons. We must make significant shifts in public safety spending away from detention and towards community based public health strategies that address the root causes of violence such as youth jobs and mentoring, substance abuse and mental health treatments, and reentry services for the formerly incarcerated.
Pension debt re-amortization: Illinois has a pension debt problem that is costing Illinois taxpayers billions annually. Pension reform solutions that ignore this reality are not addressing the real problem. If Illinois raised revenues and refinanced our pension debt to we would save billions in the long term and finally balance our budget in a sustainable manner.

Illinois has the one of the largest populations and the largest GDPs in the nation, yet ranks 49th out of 50 states in number of state workers per capita. Compared to its peers, Illinois has fewer state workers, spends less on Medicaid per patient, and is one of the worst in the nation for its funding levels of public schools. With that context in mind, it's important to note that any additional cuts would be cutting past the fat and into the muscle. I am unwilling to discuss budget cuts without also discussing new revenue sources. Additionally, your question presupposes there are some sacred cows with fat to cut — I don't accept that premise and I wouldn't make suggestions to cut in a vacuum and without examining the larger picture.

Illinois' spending is an investment into our future. There are essential functions that state government must address and adequately fund. When the state invests wisely, conditions improve, and spending is often reduced. Adequate investments into public education, job development, and social services reduce the costs of the prison system, substance abuse treatment, and other services. It is irresponsible to say that a specific program or initiative should be cut without proper evaluation, hearings, and due diligence done through the annual budgeting process. This conversation should not be framed in terms of cuts but rather about allocation of resources to our priorities and investments that will yield the most positive return for Illinois residents. The following are areas in which Illinois can better allocate resources:

Privatization of services: Illinois has privatized many public services without evaluating whether these changes will be more cost effective or if the quality of services will suffer. The recently-enacted scholarship funds for private schools passed without real conversations about whether this use of public resources is appropriate. The governor recently privatized Illinois Managed Care, claiming to save money while analysts estimate the program could cost up to $4.5 billion more annually. When we privatize state services we eliminate important oversight that informs our decision making. Illinois lawmakers should be more critical in any privatization of state services and evaluate whether changes will be cost effective without hurting the quality of services.
Adequate revenues to eliminate unnecessary borrowing: Illinois lawmakers must stabilize revenues to reduce the state's borrowing costs. Illinois will never get out of this pattern of borrowing our way out of budget crisis without adequate revenues. By increasing the level and stability of state revenues, we will improve our bond rating which will allow us to refinance debt at lower interest rates and to borrow at lower rates if it is ever needed.
Ending unnecessary corporate tax breaks: Illinois grants hundreds of millions in corporate tax breaks every year with little to no scrutiny on whether these tax breaks produce a return on investment on economic development. I support ending many corporate tax breaks and investing those resources towards critical state needs like education.
Disinvest in prisons and investing in community public safety: Research suggests that incarceration and detention are poor public safety investments, but we continue to spend hundreds of millions in prisons. We must make significant shifts in public safety spending away from detention and towards community based public health strategies that address the root causes of violence such as youth jobs and mentoring, substance abuse and mental health treatments, and reentry services for the formerly incarcerated.
Pension debt re-amortization: Illinois has a pension debt problem that is costing Illinois taxpayers billions annually. Pension reform solutions that ignore this reality are not addressing the real problem. If Illinois raised revenues and refinanced our pension debt to we would save billions in the long term and finally balance our budget in a sustainable manner.

Illinois has the one of the largest populations and the largest GDPs in the nation, yet ranks 49th out of 50 states in number of state workers per capita. Compared to its peers, Illinois has fewer state workers, spends less on Medicaid per patient, and is one of the worst in the nation for its funding levels of public schools. With that context in mind, it's important to note that any additional cuts would be cutting past the fat and into the muscle. I am unwilling to discuss budget cuts without also discussing new revenue sources. Additionally, your question presupposes there are some sacred cows with fat to cut — I don't accept that premise and I wouldn't make suggestions to cut in a vacuum and without examining the larger picture.

Illinois is pretty lean. We are right at the middle or lower than average across all the states in major spending areas. The Illinois legislature has to find a way to pay its bills. So I would look for savings, not cuts- that's what I did as a leader of a non-profit, and even with our family budget. In Illinois, let's better fund support systems that allow some seniors to have dignity and live at home rather than pay for them to be at senior centers saves us money. This is more cost effective and compassionate. Working with young people in local centers instead of sending them to juvenile detention centers will save money, and may also reduce recidivism. Identifying any state offices that can be more efficient when consolidated will decrease state salaries and overhead. We must bring stakeholders that work directly in the community to identify the most effective cost saving opportunities. Again, all of this does not take away from the clear fact that we must increase revenue. We cannot cut or even save our way out of our fiscal crisis.

Eliminate business tax loopholes and giveaways
Cut Public funding for charter schools
Cut funding for prison expansion
Cut the number of local government units
Eliminate administrative waste

Illinois is pretty lean. We are right at the middle or lower than average across all the states in major spending areas. The Illinois legislature has to find a way to pay its bills. So I would look for savings, not cuts- that's what I did as a leader of a non-profit, and even with our family budget. In Illinois, let's better fund support systems that allow some seniors to have dignity and live at home rather than pay for them to be at senior centers saves us money. This is more cost effective and compassionate. Working with young people in local centers instead of sending them to juvenile detention centers will save money, and may also reduce recidivism. Identifying any state offices that can be more efficient when consolidated will decrease state salaries and overhead. We must bring stakeholders that work directly in the community to identify the most effective cost saving opportunities. Again, all of this does not take away from the clear fact that we must increase revenue. We cannot cut or even save our way out of our fiscal crisis.

Wages (not civil servants), pensions (new state workers), healthcare costs. These are only areas I would cut if absolutely necessary, I believe the budget can be balanced without cutting 5 areas.

Eliminate business tax loopholes and giveaways
Cut Public funding for charter schools
Cut funding for prison expansion
Cut the number of local government units
Eliminate administrative waste

Wages (not civil servants), pensions (new state workers), healthcare costs. These are only areas I would cut if absolutely necessary, I believe the budget can be balanced without cutting 5 areas.

Subcontracting out city services.

City planning
City Construction
Charter schools
Overstaffing of city employees

1.Elected officials 2. Administration jobs

1. There remain significant opportunities to save the state money in criminal justice reform. Money that we spend on unnecessary arrests, prosecutions and jail terms is doubly wasted in that the inmate is also removed from the economy. One immediate opportunity exists in passing my bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. We still have hundreds of people in jail for manufacture and delivery of marijuana. Colorado saw a 25% reduction in arrests for manufacture and delivery as the black market started to fade post-legalization. Those are dollars we should be saving.
2. We must limit the ability of Illinois executives and executive agencies to retain expensive consulting services on the taxpayer's dime without competitive bidding or oversight. Just recently it became known that Governor Rauner awarded McKinsey and Company, a firm to which his administration has ties, $12.8 million dollars to oversee our Medicaid overhaul without a competitive bidding process. That should never be allowed to happen.
3. Illinois must get more judicious about corporate bailouts in the form of tax breaks. In 2011, we awarded Sears $275 million dollars to keep their corporate headquarters in the state. Soon after, they cut 100 jobs. Despite continuously getting burned on deals like this, we keep doling out tax breaks for minimal demonstrated impact. We could save tens of millions simply by being more careful with these giveaways. To that end, I introduced HB4131 to put a $50,000 per new job cap on the amount of tax breaks the state can offer to Amazon, Inc. for its new headquarters.
4. We need to get serious about procurement reform and oversight. Last Spring, an investigation revealed that Illinois taxpayers are spending $2.4 million dollars to rent a document storage warehouse that could have been purchased outright for $750,000. We must generate better safeguards to prevent this kind of waste.
5. The State of Illinois is decades behind the times in digitization. Most state business is still conducted on paper, and decades of old documents are still stored in physical form. The warehouse from the previous example was rented to hold paper documents that could have been digitized for a fraction of the cost. An initial investment in becoming a more digitally savvy state would pay off in significant savings in the long-term.

1. Eliminating redundant units of government. Illinois has more taxing bodies than any other state and there are 1,200 such taxing bodies in Chicagoland alone and I think many of them can be consolidated or eliminated. For instance, I don't think it really makes sense for township governments to exist in Cook County, for the most part they have become magnets for waste and corruption and at best they provide redundant services that should be provided either at the municipal or county level. Also changing municipal incorporation laws to make it easier to consolidate unincorporated areas into an existing municipality is a good way to make these redundant units of government even more obsolete.
2. Perform an audit on every unit of state government to see where we can cut bureaucratic waste and consolidate departments and agencies where we can. While as a progressive I firmly believe in providing services for our most vulnerable citizens as well as for working and middle-class families the bureaucratic waste helps no one and it only makes it easier for small government ideologues to use such waste as an example as to why such government services should be slashed or shouldn't even exist in the first place.
3. Perform an audit of every state university and see where we can cut bureaucratic waste and consolidate departments and programs. We also need to review and re-think salaries for upper level administrators and athletic coaches who are the highest paid public employees in the entire state, many university Presidents, Chancellor's and Athletic coaches make more than the Governor. Also, taxpayer money is spent on lavish official residences for university Presidents and Chancellors, for example nearly one million dollars
4. Stop Pension Abuse and Double Dipping. Instead of trying to alter the pensions of hard working and honest public servants we should be looking who is abusing the system and where. We need to focus on situations where people collect multiple pensions and come up with a fair and equitable solution that will benefit the taxpayers.
5. I would end no bid contracts that often end up costing the taxpayers more money than a more competitive bidding process.

1. Eliminating redundant units of government. Illinois has more taxing bodies than any other state and there are 1,200 such taxing bodies in Chicagoland alone and I think many of them can be consolidated or eliminated. For instance, I don't think it really makes sense for township governments to exist in Cook County, for the most part they have become magnets for waste and corruption and at best they provide redundant services that should be provided either at the municipal or county level. Also changing municipal incorporation laws to make it easier to consolidate unincorporated areas into an existing municipality is a good way to make these redundant units of government even more obsolete.
2. Perform an audit on every unit of state government to see where we can cut bureaucratic waste and consolidate departments and agencies where we can. While as a progressive I firmly believe in providing services for our most vulnerable citizens as well as for working and middle-class families the bureaucratic waste helps no one and it only makes it easier for small government ideologues to use such waste as an example as to why such government services should be slashed or shouldn't even exist in the first place.
3. Perform an audit of every state university and see where we can cut bureaucratic waste and consolidate departments and programs. We also need to review and re-think salaries for upper level administrators and athletic coaches who are the highest paid public employees in the entire state, many university Presidents, Chancellor's and Athletic coaches make more than the Governor. Also, taxpayer money is spent on lavish official residences for university Presidents and Chancellors, for example nearly one million dollars
4. Stop Pension Abuse and Double Dipping. Instead of trying to alter the pensions of hard working and honest public servants we should be looking who is abusing the system and where. We need to focus on situations where people collect multiple pensions and come up with a fair and equitable solution that will benefit the taxpayers.
5. I would end no bid contracts that often end up costing the taxpayers more money than a more competitive bidding process.

I would need to study this more but I would only propose cuts that did not hurt education or health care.

Illinois is famous for having more layers of government that any state. This creates considerable overlap in services and excess government spending. It will take a new level of political commitment to cut into these layers and free up dollars.

The first area I would look to cut spending in is within our government. We have significant wasteful spending that requires a closer examination of where reductions can be made. For starters, I would look re-examine consolidating the Comptroller and Treasurers offices. Next, I would identify where reforms can be made in unfunded mandates that burden local governments. Additionally, taking a strong look and stand on ending administrative excesses in our State educational system (higher education) at our Universities and Colleges.

We have got to be honest and take a hard long look at why Democrats under the leadership of Mike Madigan and Cullerton fail to rein in spending, while Republicans are the ones with a reputation for slashing and burning. Democrats can be fiscally responsible as well, but it requires leadership with a dynamic vision who can reimagine a new paradigm in our State.

The first area I would look to cut spending in is within our government. We have significant wasteful spending that requires a closer examination of where reductions can be made. For starters, I would look re-examine consolidating the Comptroller and Treasurers offices. Next, I would identify where reforms can be made in unfunded mandates that burden local governments. Additionally, taking a strong look and stand on ending administrative excesses in our State educational system (higher education) at our Universities and Colleges.

We have got to be honest and take a hard long look at why Democrats under the leadership of Mike Madigan and Cullerton fail to rein in spending, while Republicans are the ones with a reputation for slashing and burning. Democrats can be fiscally responsible as well, but it requires leadership with a dynamic vision who can reimagine a new paradigm in our State.

Prison System Reducing operations at a state university. Reduce Non Union state employees Cut Tourism Spending Supreme Court

Prison System Reducing operations at a state university. Reduce Non Union state employees Cut Tourism Spending Supreme Court

By seeking ways to eliminate waste in government spending by (1) strict review of agency budgets to seek consolidation of personnel where performance of duties are the same or similar in co-dependent agencies (2) reevaluate contracts to determine where services can be consolidated by utilizing best practices and being results oriented (3) promote opportunities for open bidding on contracts to community based organizations vs state mega-agencies (4) forensic study of state purchasing to streamline process and enhance buying power (5) evaluate township government and local governmental bodies' budgets to determine how operation, supplies, contracts may be reduced or eliminated

Illinois is not a high spending state (ranking 37th in spending among the 50 states) and state employee headcount per capita is one of the lowest in the nation as well. So there aren't too many areas from which to cut spending. That said, Illinois has 7,000 local government entities, reviewing the functions of these bodies and consolidating where needed would bring some operational efficiency. With rising pension costs, several aspects of the pension system are worth exploring, including raising the retirement age for state employees from 60 to 65, moving the majority of new state employees to a defined contribution plan, and closing the loopholes that allow people that enter the state retirement plan late in their careers to game the system in order to receive higher pension payouts. Another area to cut spending is to reduce corporate tax giveaways.

Reduce prison spending by reducing the number of individuals incarnated. The Governor's Commission on Sentencing and Criminal Justice Reform's interim and final reports included some recommendations that should be given serious consideration.
Reduced the number of state operated facilities for the developmentally disabled. Illinois like most states have found that by serving these individuals in community setting operated by private agencies, provides a higher quality of life.
Eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor. This office provides little functional value. There are several cost neutral approaches to replacing the Governor if it becomes necessary to do so.
Require Medicaid beneficiaries who are abled bodies adults without child care obligations to work to pay the cost of health care premiums, deductibles and copays to reduce the cost of health care to the state.
I believe that there are many functions that the state should privatize at considerable savings. Several state agencies, for example, operate call centers and do eligibility determinations of various benefits (TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, etc.). The information system support for these functions are costly to maintain and upgrade. By privatizing these type functions not only will there be considerable direct operations cost savings but also indirect saving on benefits and pension cost as well.

Stream-lining the procurement process to create efficiencies;
A statewide consolidation of occupied space through leasing and an assessment of where partnerships with other local jurisdictions can reduce costs of leased space though the sharing of space;
Creating a robust state salvage program to aggregate our capital equipment that is being phased out/retired and put it up for sale to the public. This could create a little revenue, reduce our overall waste, and ensure that our electronics that cannot be reused are being disposed of appropriately;
We should really be focused on jobs creation to bolster our state's economic fabric, not trying to cut from vital services; and
Lastly, we will not cut our way to a balanced budget€”Illinois needs progressive revenues to balance a budget and I am committed to fighting for these sorts of revenues.

I would look to non-core services as the first place to cut spending. I would also look at a reasonable plan to pay the state's backlog of bills in a timely manner to avoid the high-interest rates associated with the debt accruing. I would look at what tax exemptions are allowed. The exemption and the loss of revenue received is essentially Illinois spending that money. I would also look at reducing recidivism as a cut to spending. IDOC in 2015 had a 1.4 billion dollar working budget for a system who's population increased 200% between 1982 and 2015. Reducing recidivism provides real cost savings. Cutting spending without additional revenue is not enough to balance Illinois' budget. Compared to many other states Illinois has fewer state workers (down by 26% since 2002). Illinois has the fewest number of state employees per capita. Illinois spends less on Medicaid per patient and has perennially been known for having the worst record and reputation nationally for funding its local schools. With the largest sections of the budget relating to state employee costs, education and healthcare it is nearly impossible to make meaningful cuts without sacrificing core services for Illinois residents.

The number of governmental units in Illinois is staggering. We need to consolidate these units of government and the state should not be providing ongoing support to these units through its Local Government Distributive Fund.

I would reduce the number of college administrators and thereby decrease pension requirements. I would require state departments to reduce their overtime by 20%. I would require and across the board departmental cut of 10% over and above the overtime cut. I would favor cutting subsidies to fossil fuel based companies.

I would work with Medicaid to insure recipients received more preventative care and reduced the number of emergency room visits.

As the BGA points out, on a per capita basis, no state government employs fewer people than Illinois. No state picks up a smaller percentage of local education bills. Per patient Medicaid spending is well below national norms. The pile of debt now owed to state administered public pension systems is staggering. We have faced yearly deficits with efforts to trim or eliminate unnecessary services or programs since the early 2000s. So there is not much room to cut more from state operations without fundamentally altering the role state government plays in transportation, criminal justice, health care, social services and protecting children. Moreover, as commitment to enforcing health, occupational and environmental standards wanes in Washington, we might well need more staffing and resources in several state government agencies, such as IEPA, OSHA, DPH.
Here are particular spending areas that can be cut and resources directed to more effective ways of meeting needs. They include:
Interest paid on state prompt-payment-act debt, by borrowing from professional lenders at lower interest rates rather than must be paid to the state's vendors.
Pension payments, by re-amortizing the debt using sound actuarial analysis.
Closing state operated developmental centers, leaving two, one in the north and one in the southern part of the state, with funds redirected to Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs), which provide better outcomes and are more cost-efficient.
Certain operational costs at Department of Correction facilities related to diminishing census.
Reducing pension costs by preventing end of career salary spiking and other methods that increase the state obligation.

Reducing taxpayer funded benefits for retired politicians including free health care for life. Cutting perks for legislators by reducing their legislative salaries and district budget allotments. Cut back on the state's vehicle fleet and look to replace some vehicles with more fuel-efficient cars to reduce overhead costs. Combine the offices of comptroller and treasurer. Review the state budget line by line to find areas of duplicative spending and reduce spending on bureaucracy.

Reducing taxpayer funded benefits for retired politicians including free health care for life. Cutting perks for legislators by reducing their legislative salaries and district budget allotments. Cut back on the state's vehicle fleet and look to replace some vehicles with more fuel-efficient cars to reduce overhead costs. Combine the offices of comptroller and treasurer. Review the state budget line by line to find areas of duplicative spending and reduce spending on bureaucracy.

Illinois is not a big spending state. We actually spend less on Medicaid and state employees than most other states. Our real issue is the pension crisis. A crisis that was created by our state not funding their portion into the pension pool. This serious financial crisis is burdening our state. The only way out of it is additional revenue. We can not balance the budget the backs of everyday people and the hard working people of Illinois. We have a pension crisis to handle and not an overspending issue to contend.

Illinois is not a big spending state. We actually spend less on Medicaid and state employees than most other states. Our real issue is the pension crisis. A crisis that was created by our state not funding their portion into the pension pool. This serious financial crisis is burdening our state. The only way out of it is additional revenue. We can not balance the budget the backs of everyday people and the hard working people of Illinois. We have a pension crisis to handle and not an overspending issue to contend.

Every single Madigan, Durkin, and Berrios appointee should be dropped because they really don't do anything positive for the state. I would cut the Vendor Assistance program which is nothing more than another method for the Property Tax Brothers (Madigan, Durkin, and Berrios) to make money. I would also cut funding for state universities if they have a graduation rate lower than 16%, and I will cut the pay, pension, and healthcare benefits of lawmakers.

Every single Madigan, Durkin, and Berrios appointee should be dropped because they really don't do anything positive for the state. I would cut the Vendor Assistance program which is nothing more than another method for the Property Tax Brothers (Madigan, Durkin, and Berrios) to make money. I would also cut funding for state universities if they have a graduation rate lower than 16%, and I will cut the pay, pension, and healthcare benefits of lawmakers.

Illinois' biggest issue is not spending. The lack of funding to critical services, including higher education and particularly social services, during the budget impasse has had a detrimental and lasting impact on our society creating an even larger drain on services and reducing income sources to the state. That said, there is a very clear need for shared sacrifice as we work our way out of this deep hole due of decades of mismanagement. As a management consultant who focused on cost reduction and efficiency gains in large organizations, I bring expertise in this area. I would explore the following options:
Consolidate the more than 600 separate police and fire pension funds to gain efficiencies in administrative costs and fees. Collectively, with the police and fire unions, I believe we could negotiate a fair consolidation that would in no way affect benefits, but it would bring lower costs and efficiency gains to employees and the state.
Politicians and elected or appointed members of the Governor's office should voluntarily change their pension benefit structure to reduce costs. The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) offers the earliest retirement dates coupled with the most generous formula for calculating payments. This makes absolutely no sense and should be a no-brainer for any leader committed to public service.
Restructure the early childhood system, so there is a single body responsible and accountable for all early learning programs regardless of funding source. For instance, the efficiency and impact of all six home visiting programs we currently fund would be evaluated on the same accountability model and the most effective could receive more investment. Data has proven time and again that there is at 13x return on investment to spend on quality, early childhood programming. We must make the most of these investments.
Restructure the outsourcing of social service supports in our state. While I understand the intent of outsourcing services to non-profit agencies that may be more flexible in hiring and closer to clients, this model has proven costly to support and has created a system that is redundant and leaves our most vulnerable citizens underserved.
In FY17, $46M was allocated to assessment spending in the ISBE budget. I believe we do need annual assessments that can track student growth and be used by educators to impact instruction. However, PARCC is not that type of assessment. The accountability role of PARCC can be achieved without testing the entire population each year and would result in savings for the state and for local school districts.

Illinois' biggest issue is not spending. The lack of funding to critical services, including higher education and particularly social services, during the budget impasse has had a detrimental and lasting impact on our society creating an even larger drain on services and reducing income sources to the state. That said, there is a very clear need for shared sacrifice as we work our way out of this deep hole due of decades of mismanagement. As a management consultant who focused on cost reduction and efficiency gains in large organizations, I bring expertise in this area. I would explore the following options:
Consolidate the more than 600 separate police and fire pension funds to gain efficiencies in administrative costs and fees. Collectively, with the police and fire unions, I believe we could negotiate a fair consolidation that would in no way affect benefits, but it would bring lower costs and efficiency gains to employees and the state.
Politicians and elected or appointed members of the Governor's office should voluntarily change their pension benefit structure to reduce costs. The Illinois General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) offers the earliest retirement dates coupled with the most generous formula for calculating payments. This makes absolutely no sense and should be a no-brainer for any leader committed to public service.
Restructure the early childhood system, so there is a single body responsible and accountable for all early learning programs regardless of funding source. For instance, the efficiency and impact of all six home visiting programs we currently fund would be evaluated on the same accountability model and the most effective could receive more investment. Data has proven time and again that there is at 13x return on investment to spend on quality, early childhood programming. We must make the most of these investments.
Restructure the outsourcing of social service supports in our state. While I understand the intent of outsourcing services to non-profit agencies that may be more flexible in hiring and closer to clients, this model has proven costly to support and has created a system that is redundant and leaves our most vulnerable citizens underserved.
In FY17, $46M was allocated to assessment spending in the ISBE budget. I believe we do need annual assessments that can track student growth and be used by educators to impact instruction. However, PARCC is not that type of assessment. The accountability role of PARCC can be achieved without testing the entire population each year and would result in savings for the state and for local school districts.

Merging wasteful government agencies and managing Medicaid are two places to start saving money. I don't profess to know all the answers. There are many independent groups out there who analyze our budgets and have lots of great ideas. We just need to elect politicians who will listen and take action.

The first obligation of government during a financial crisis is to identify waste and make cuts where possible. In the five years I have been in the legislature, we have either flat funded or cut nearly every single item in the budget other than education and we still woefully underfund that. We spend nearly $6 Billion dollars per year less on health care, human services and education than we did in 2002. Our infrastructure is crumbling. We have less employees per capita than nearly every other state and our state agencies are unable to accomplish their core missions. We cannot adequately preserve and maintain state facilities and state lands, which will cost us far more in the future when we the neglect must be corrected.

During the budget impasse, Gov. Rauner made devastating cuts that denied people in need critical services, costing people their lives. We cut programs that provided constructive alternatives and healthy opportunities to at risk youth and now we have a big surge in violent crime. I would argue that the answer is not in further cuts, but rather we should be looking to find the programs that work and that save the state money in the long run and begin reinvesting in those programs.

The first obligation of government during a financial crisis is to identify waste and make cuts where possible. In the five years I have been in the legislature, we have either flat funded or cut nearly every single item in the budget other than education and we still woefully underfund that. We spend nearly $6 Billion dollars per year less on health care, human services and education than we did in 2002. Our infrastructure is crumbling. We have less employees per capita than nearly every other state and our state agencies are unable to accomplish their core missions. We cannot adequately preserve and maintain state facilities and state lands, which will cost us far more in the future when we the neglect must be corrected.

During the budget impasse, Gov. Rauner made devastating cuts that denied people in need critical services, costing people their lives. We cut programs that provided constructive alternatives and healthy opportunities to at risk youth and now we have a big surge in violent crime. I would argue that the answer is not in further cuts, but rather we should be looking to find the programs that work and that save the state money in the long run and begin reinvesting in those programs.

Consolidation of duplicative offices and government services, such as, but not limited to, the Offices of Treasurer and Comptroller.
Pension reform for new state government hires will help us wrangle our unfunded pension liability.
Further streamlining of our procurement process will save taxpayer money.
Additional Medicaid reform, particularly benefits fraud.
Mandate relief for higher education institution and local units of government

1.Medicaid. We need to get these costs under control. Efforts need to be concentrated in enacting a managed care system. Medicaid is now over 1/3 of the State's General funds budget. 2. Reduce redundancy organization and commissions. 3.Merge the offices of the Comptroller and Treasurer. This was a key item during the last state wide election and still has not been enacted. WHY NOT? 4. Illinois State Thompson Building, Sell it and have offices only in Springfield. 5.Remove Retirements from Elected State Officials. No Citizen Legislature should be in office long enough to receive retirement! Anyone who has stayed long enough as an Elected Illinois State Official to receive a pension should be FIRED as the state is in terrible shape.

Merging wasteful government agencies and managing Medicaid are two places to start saving money. I don't profess to know all the answers. There are many independent groups out there who analyze our budgets and have lots of great ideas. We just need to elect politicians who will listen and take action.

Illinois struggles with high unemployment, failed fiscal polices and out of control spending. The Democrat Majority approved an un balanced unbalanced budget for fiscal year 2018. We cannot spend more than what we have and I will work to cut waste and fraud in our Medicaid system and demand accountability and transparency from our state leaders. It is imperative that we slow the growth of Medicaid it takes up 1/3 of our states general revenue funds. A managed care system for recipients should be carefully evaluated to reduce the costs. Moving Medicaid recipients into manage care could reduce costs. Pension reform would also reduce our unfunded liability by billions of dollars. A government program that wants to increase spending should look within their department first to see if there maybe areas that can be cut in order to make way for a new program. (Pay-as-you-go). Consolidation is also another way to cut back on spending. I have seen this happen numerous times at Dupage County. Consolidating our youth home with our neighboring Kane County saved us millios of dollars. It needs to seriously be looked at in our States Capital. For example the State should look into combining the many Education related boards and commissions that are in place now. The State Board of Education, the Board of Higher Education, the Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission could be combined into a new Department of Education. Reducing cost of administrators and managers. Head count is a very costly item in a budget. Eliminating the Lieutenant Governors office would be a $2 million dollar savings and combining the Offices of the State Comptroller and Treasurer would save another $12 million. Options to think about.

Consolidation of duplicative offices and government services, such as, but not limited to, the Offices of Treasurer and Comptroller.
Pension reform for new state government hires will help us wrangle our unfunded pension liability.
Further streamlining of our procurement process will save taxpayer money.
Additional Medicaid reform, particularly benefits fraud.
Mandate relief for higher education institution and local units of government

Pensions currently make up a huge percentage of the States budget. A fair, conscientious approach to finding creative ways to address this issue is a must. We must be more responsible and resourceful with the money Illinois collects to cover pension liability. I would favor moving to a 401 type plan.
As a doctor myself, I would also like to find more efficient and effective ways to address Medicaid expansion to make sure it is there for those that need it. We also need to prevent Medicaid expansion from bankrupting our state. By cutting wasteful spending and appropriating funds to find measurable effective means of improving services, this can be done.
We need to examine agencies and quasi-governmental agencies to find less expensive and more efficient ways to operate them and if appropriate eliminate them.
Look for additional outsourcing opportunities where applicable. Stop creating new divisions of government and governmental agencies that exist indefinitely and continue to grow beyond their original charter.
Reduction, revision or elimination of unfunded mandates placed on local governments. i.e. The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.

Pensions currently make up a huge percentage of the States budget. A fair, conscientious approach to finding creative ways to address this issue is a must. We must be more responsible and resourceful with the money Illinois collects to cover pension liability. I would favor moving to a 401 type plan.
As a doctor myself, I would also like to find more efficient and effective ways to address Medicaid expansion to make sure it is there for those that need it. We also need to prevent Medicaid expansion from bankrupting our state. By cutting wasteful spending and appropriating funds to find measurable effective means of improving services, this can be done.
We need to examine agencies and quasi-governmental agencies to find less expensive and more efficient ways to operate them and if appropriate eliminate them.
Look for additional outsourcing opportunities where applicable. Stop creating new divisions of government and governmental agencies that exist indefinitely and continue to grow beyond their original charter.
Reduction, revision or elimination of unfunded mandates placed on local governments. i.e. The Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.

1.Medicaid. We need to get these costs under control. Efforts need to be concentrated in enacting a managed care system. Medicaid is now over 1/3 of the State's General funds budget. 2. Reduce redundancy organization and commissions. 3.Merge the offices of the Comptroller and Treasurer. This was a key item during the last state wide election and still has not been enacted. WHY NOT? 4. Illinois State Thompson Building, Sell it and have offices only in Springfield. 5.Remove Retirements from Elected State Officials. No Citizen Legislature should be in office long enough to receive retirement! Anyone who has stayed long enough as an Elected Illinois State Official to receive a pension should be FIRED as the state is in terrible shape.

Illinois struggles with high unemployment, failed fiscal polices and out of control spending. The Democrat Majority approved an un balanced unbalanced budget for fiscal year 2018. We cannot spend more than what we have and I will work to cut waste and fraud in our Medicaid system and demand accountability and transparency from our state leaders. It is imperative that we slow the growth of Medicaid it takes up 1/3 of our states general revenue funds. A managed care system for recipients should be carefully evaluated to reduce the costs. Moving Medicaid recipients into manage care could reduce costs. Pension reform would also reduce our unfunded liability by billions of dollars. A government program that wants to increase spending should look within their department first to see if there maybe areas that can be cut in order to make way for a new program. (Pay-as-you-go). Consolidation is also another way to cut back on spending. I have seen this happen numerous times at Dupage County. Consolidating our youth home with our neighboring Kane County saved us millios of dollars. It needs to seriously be looked at in our States Capital. For example the State should look into combining the many Education related boards and commissions that are in place now. The State Board of Education, the Board of Higher Education, the Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission could be combined into a new Department of Education. Reducing cost of administrators and managers. Head count is a very costly item in a budget. Eliminating the Lieutenant Governors office would be a $2 million dollar savings and combining the Offices of the State Comptroller and Treasurer would save another $12 million. Options to think about.

It would be easy to list buzzword areas where I would cut spending, but until I carefully inspect the budget I cannot give a concise answer to this question.

It would be easy to list buzzword areas where I would cut spending, but until I carefully inspect the budget I cannot give a concise answer to this question.

As State Rep, I would prefer to first engage in deep research, consultations, and bi-partisan efforts to identify areas of excesses and wasteful spending.

I would cut in these 5 ways: Eliminate Waste; eliminate Duplication; and Inappropriate Spending. I would also work towards controlling the state's debt, and I would end many of the subsidies to huge corporations.

Pensions: Representative Batinick has introduced a few variations of a pension buyout. It is clearly constitutional because it is OPTIONAL. It allows individuals in the pension system to exchange a benefit for a lump sum value that would be rolled into a retirement account tax-free. For example, a person who is set to earn a $60,000 / year pension at retirement has a net-present value cost to the state of about $1M. He could exchange that for a $30,000 / year pension and a $500,000 accelerated payment minus a small discount to the state. That discount would be the savings. We could also offer optional buyouts to move current employees into defined contribution plans, and even offer buyout for benefits like the 3% COLA. COGFA estimates show that this could save billions. With pension costs being about 25% of our budget and increasing, this is an area that desperately needs addressing. Economic Growth: Turning the unemployed to the employed will have the double benefit of increasing tax revenue while decreasing costs.

Reforms: What many people don't realize is that the types of reforms that businesses are screaming for are also beneficial to government. Governments have worker's compensation costs, insurance cost, etc. An LRU report recently showed that if Illinois had average worker's compensation costs state and local governments would save over $300M.

Waste: It was well documented that the original Neighborhood Recovery Initiative under Gov. Quinn was filled with waste and fraud. What was not widely covered in the press was that when the program was moved to another agency, the waste and fraud continued. We need to be extremely judicious about implementing programs like this in the future.

The small thingS: We need to comb through agencies and find less expensive and more efficient ways to do everything. My husband and I do this in our business constantly. For example, is it cheaper to have a state vehicle or merely reimburse employees for using their personal vehicle for state use? Does the reimbursement rate need to match the federal level or will they be happy with something just below that? Do businesses need to file payroll taxes every week or can it be done monthly? These are the kinds of questions we need to be asking because many small savings add up to big savings.

It is important to have a long term view on out of balance spending as future generations will be burdened with this debt. After Democrats approved a budget that outspends revenues while still upping income taxes by 32%, it is time to take a serious look at wasteful spending practices. Addressing wasteful spending coupled with curbing fraudulent activities is a start. Areas that I think should be evaluated include: office consolidation, unfunded mandates, Medicaid, unfunded pensions, local district consolidation, government administrator's pay and unemployment benefit fraud. Consolidation of or elimination of agencies that are redundant should be studied. The State could combine certain boards to streamline efficiency in delivering services while also saving on costs. Illinois has a high number of layers of government and one to streamline boards could be consolidating separate elementary and high school districts into new unit entities.

Medicaid spending is increasing at a fast rate and consumes one third of the State's budget. To slow this growth one option is to move into a managed care model. This model of contracting with providers and facilities would reduce costs, cut fraudulent abuse while still providing care.

Unfunded pension liability has grown from 15 billion in the year 200 to well over 100 billion now. We need to address this problem going forward by evaluating the contribution plans. Similarly evaluated should be offices that can be consolidated as some counties are performing. Examples of these could be combining the Comptroller and Treasurer office.

In addition, it is not just enough to evaluate and possibly cut some of these areas- we also need to enact policy that grow revenues and encourage jobs and economic development. These problems have been brewing for decades and will not be solved overnight; however, all solutions start with honest conversations and require representatives willing to do the hard work.

It is important to have a long term view on out of balance spending as future generations will be burdened with this debt. After Democrats approved a budget that outspends revenues while still upping income taxes by 32%, it is time to take a serious look at wasteful spending practices. Addressing wasteful spending coupled with curbing fraudulent activities is a start. Areas that I think should be evaluated include: office consolidation, unfunded mandates, Medicaid, unfunded pensions, local district consolidation, government administrator's pay and unemployment benefit fraud. Consolidation of or elimination of agencies that are redundant should be studied. The State could combine certain boards to streamline efficiency in delivering services while also saving on costs. Illinois has a high number of layers of government and one to streamline boards could be consolidating separate elementary and high school districts into new unit entities.

Medicaid spending is increasing at a fast rate and consumes one third of the State's budget. To slow this growth one option is to move into a managed care model. This model of contracting with providers and facilities would reduce costs, cut fraudulent abuse while still providing care.

Unfunded pension liability has grown from 15 billion in the year 200 to well over 100 billion now. We need to address this problem going forward by evaluating the contribution plans. Similarly evaluated should be offices that can be consolidated as some counties are performing. Examples of these could be combining the Comptroller and Treasurer office.

In addition, it is not just enough to evaluate and possibly cut some of these areas- we also need to enact policy that grow revenues and encourage jobs and economic development. These problems have been brewing for decades and will not be solved overnight; however, all solutions start with honest conversations and require representatives willing to do the hard work.

Pensions: Representative Batinick has introduced a few variations of a pension buyout. It is clearly constitutional because it is OPTIONAL. It allows individuals in the pension system to exchange a benefit for a lump sum value that would be rolled into a retirement account tax-free. For example, a person who is set to earn a $60,000 / year pension at retirement has a net-present value cost to the state of about $1M. He could exchange that for a $30,000 / year pension and a $500,000 accelerated payment minus a small discount to the state. That discount would be the savings. We could also offer optional buyouts to move current employees into defined contribution plans, and even offer buyout for benefits like the 3% COLA. COGFA estimates show that this could save billions. With pension costs being about 25% of our budget and increasing, this is an area that desperately needs addressing. Economic Growth: Turning the unemployed to the employed will have the double benefit of increasing tax revenue while decreasing costs.

Reforms: What many people don't realize is that the types of reforms that businesses are screaming for are also beneficial to government. Governments have worker's compensation costs, insurance cost, etc. An LRU report recently showed that if Illinois had average worker's compensation costs state and local governments would save over $300M.

Waste: It was well documented that the original Neighborhood Recovery Initiative under Gov. Quinn was filled with waste and fraud. What was not widely covered in the press was that when the program was moved to another agency, the waste and fraud continued. We need to be extremely judicious about implementing programs like this in the future.

The small thingS: We need to comb through agencies and find less expensive and more efficient ways to do everything. My husband and I do this in our business constantly. For example, is it cheaper to have a state vehicle or merely reimburse employees for using their personal vehicle for state use? Does the reimbursement rate need to match the federal level or will they be happy with something just below that? Do businesses need to file payroll taxes every week or can it be done monthly? These are the kinds of questions we need to be asking because many small savings add up to big savings.

As State Rep, I would prefer to first engage in deep research, consultations, and bi-partisan efforts to identify areas of excesses and wasteful spending.

I would cut in these 5 ways: Eliminate Waste; eliminate Duplication; and Inappropriate Spending. I would also work towards controlling the state's debt, and I would end many of the subsidies to huge corporations.

1. Cut administrative costs at public universities and all government offices. More and more money is being spent on administrators and not proving services and education.
2. Decrease the number of units of government and consolidate those where possible.
3. Actively seek discounts on procurement from any company doing business with state. Actively evaluating rates paid to companies for all products and services. Making all invoices available to the public in real-time. Citizen sleuths can help weed out fraud. In my current company, we save all of our invoices in pdf. In this day and age, there is no reason a system can't be developed to make these invoices available to the public. This includes making sure Illinois' fleet of vehicles is managed properly.
Weed out fraud in medical spending.
5. Reduce costs of elections, and running the general assembly.

1. Consolidation of the Treasurer and Comptroller's offices and services
2. Consolidation of School Districts and administrators
3. Cut Tax Breaks for Big Businesses- exemptions from income and sales taxes
4. Cut Livestock Tax Breaks
5. Cut some state exemptions/tax credits

1. Consolidation of the Treasurer and Comptroller's offices and services
2. Consolidation of School Districts and administrators
3. Cut Tax Breaks for Big Businesses- exemptions from income and sales taxes
4. Cut Livestock Tax Breaks
5. Cut some state exemptions/tax credits

1. Cut administrative costs at public universities and all government offices. More and more money is being spent on administrators and not proving services and education.
2. Decrease the number of units of government and consolidate those where possible.
3. Actively seek discounts on procurement from any company doing business with state. Actively evaluating rates paid to companies for all products and services. Making all invoices available to the public in real-time. Citizen sleuths can help weed out fraud. In my current company, we save all of our invoices in pdf. In this day and age, there is no reason a system can't be developed to make these invoices available to the public. This includes making sure Illinois' fleet of vehicles is managed properly.
4. Weed out fraud in medical spending.
5. Reduce costs of elections, and running the general assembly.

Illinois has a spending problem. Years of over spending, over promising, and under funding have put Illinois in a precarious financial position. We will only be able to solve our problems with a multiyear approach and structural reforms to the major programs and areas where and how we spend money.

The problem in Illinois is that everyone says they are a fiscal conservative, yet we are in the worst financial shape of any state in the nation. I don't believe we should take politicians at their word, that is why I support a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to limit spending growth to the rate of inflation plus population growth. It isn't enough to make one time cuts to programs or believe politicians' promises that they will reign in spending when they have proven they are unwilling to. I will be a forceful advocate for putting handcuffs on government to limit spending. Budgeting is about prioritization and limiting spending growth will force our elected officials to make decisions about what programs to fund, how to improve services, and how to better spend our money.
Pensions: Illinois' pension system continues to eat up more and more of the state's budget. That means we are choosing to fund government employee pensions instead of core services or lower taxes. We may never have a balanced budget until we reform our pension systems. I support offering 401(k)s to new employees, offering current employees the option of enrolling in a 401(k) plan, and reforming COLAs as ways to try and reform our pension systems and reign in one of the major cost drivers in the budget.
We need to decrease the units of government we have. Each unit has bureaucracy, HR, IT, and management. Some of these units are townships, water districts, park districts, and forest preserves.
We also need to decrease the mandates on local governments and schools
We also need to enact law to sunset any new spending.

Illinois has a spending problem. Years of over spending, over promising, and under funding have put Illinois in a precarious financial position. We will only be able to solve our problems with a multiyear approach and structural reforms to the major programs and areas where and how we spend money.

The problem in Illinois is that everyone says they are a fiscal conservative, yet we are in the worst financial shape of any state in the nation. I don't believe we should take politicians at their word, that is why I support a Taxpayer Bill of Rights to limit spending growth to the rate of inflation plus population growth. It isn't enough to make one time cuts to programs or believe politicians' promises that they will reign in spending when they have proven they are unwilling to. I will be a forceful advocate for putting handcuffs on government to limit spending. Budgeting is about prioritization and limiting spending growth will force our elected officials to make decisions about what programs to fund, how to improve services, and how to better spend our money.
Pensions: Illinois' pension system continues to eat up more and more of the state's budget. That means we are choosing to fund government employee pensions instead of core services or lower taxes. We may never have a balanced budget until we reform our pension systems. I support offering 401(k)s to new employees, offering current employees the option of enrolling in a 401(k) plan, and reforming COLAs as ways to try and reform our pension systems and reign in one of the major cost drivers in the budget.
We need to decrease the units of government we have. Each unit has bureaucracy, HR, IT, and management. Some of these units are townships, water districts, park districts, and forest preserves.
We also need to decrease the mandates on local governments and schools
We also need to enact law to sunset any new spending.

I can give you four:

Merge the Treasurer and Comptroller offices
Fold the DuPage Election Commission into the DuPage County Clerk's office
Reduce the number of State University Boards from nine to one
Change the GARS pension plan to a defined contribution plan

According to Crain's Chicago Business, "On a per capita basis, no state government employs fewer people than Illinois. No state picks up a smaller percentage of local education bills. Per patient Medicaid spending is well below national norms. And the pile of debt now owed to state administered public pension systems is staggering." "There's not a lot of room to easily maneuver," said James Nowlan, a former Republican state legislator and co-author of "Fixing Illinois: Politics and Policy in the Prairie State." "You can't do as much as you think you can." ~Crain's